The 5 Series is another one of this year's winners that has the competition well and truly mastered.
It's popular with company car drivers and fleet companies, so there are plenty around, yet it's still desirable.
It's great to drive, has an impressive reputation for reliability and, with its efficient diesel engine, doesn't cost too much to run.
It's also comfortable – the ride is excellent at all speeds, as long as you choose the standard suspension; cars with the optional sports set-up are best avoided, because they're overly firm on most British roads.
The Five's cabin is superbly made and has bags of style. There's not much wind or road noise, and rear-seat passengers have lots of legroom. The boot is big and easy to load, too.
Name Duncan McClure Fisher
Job Managing Director, Warranty Direct
Verdict: 'The 5 Series is one of the most reliable executive cars you can buy, and the 520d is powerful, yet sits in a low tax band thanks to its economical engine. You're also cosseted in great refinement and comfort.'
A leather interior and metallic paint are desirable features, while the optional sat-nav system is nice to have – just don't pay over the odds for it.
A six-speed manual gearbox was standard on the 520d, but there are plenty of automatic versions on the market if you prefer.
You may be tempted by the 525d, because it's usually well priced on the used market. Although it's more powerful, the engine isn't as refined as you'd expect.
Smoother and more efficient 520ds sold from September '07 onwards are available, but these are much dearer than our favourite here.